Today the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board voted 5 – 3 rejecting a license plate designed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The plate’s design features a rebel soldier carrying a Texas regiment’s special flag at the Civil War battle of Antietam in 1862.
The debate was centered on design’s similarity to an existing plate that raises money for BikeTexas.org, not on whether it celebrates 19th-century Texans fighting to preserve slavery.
At the hearing today officers from the historical group that the proposed license plate would raise money for scholarships and place flags on Confederate graves. The DMV charges $30 for a specialty plate and $22 dollars goes to the selected cause.
Robin Stallings executive director of the Texas Bicycle Coalition Education Fund, or BikeTexas.org stated in press releases today, “the plates are too similar and it could cause a lot of confusion as well as a decline in sales for us.”
State law and DMV regulations permit the board to reject any plate that may be deemed as offensive or compete with an existing design. This is not the first time the Sons of Confederate Veterans lobbied for a specialty plate. In 2011 the DMV board unanimously rejected a plate that would show the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ name and the Confederate battle flag, a blue cross inlaid with white stars over a red background. The words “Sons of Confederate Veterans 1896” encircled the flag.
The group sued, but in 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the board’s decision 5-4.
Tell us what you think. Offensive or History?